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Academic Training

Academic Training is a benefit available to students in J-1 status. This benefit allows authorization for practical experience, employment, or training that is directly related to your program of study as a J-1 student.


To be eligible for Academic Training, you must meet the following criteria.

  1. You must be in good J-1 status.
  2. You must be in good academic standing (i.e. not on academic probation).
  3. Your primary purpose in the U.S. must be to study rather than to engage in employment.
  4. The proposed employment must be done with a specific employer or training site, and directly related to the major field of study listed on your form DS-2019.
  5. You must be able to provide a specific description of the training opportunity.
  6. The proposed employment period cannot be longer than the amount of time spent in full-time study.
  7. You must receive written approval in advance from your J-1 program officer in ISSS for the duration of the Academic Training program.
  8. If you are an exchange student from one of the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ partner universities then you must request and receive permission from your home university exchange coordinator. Your coordinator must email this permission to your program officer in ISSS and your Study Abroad coordinator at UMSL.

Part-time & Full-time Authorization

As degree seeking J-1 students your primary objective is to complete the course of study rather than to be engaged in employment. You are expected to pursue your academic objective on a full-time basis. Academic training authorization for the fall and spring semesters is limited to part-time (no more than 20 hours/week). Full-time authorization for pre-completion Academic Training (40 hours/week) is only allowed during vacation periods (i.e. winter break, summer semester).  Post-completion Academic Training can be on a part-time or full-time basis. Part-time and full-time authorization are subtracted from the overall limit at the same rate.

Academic Training Application Procedure

Complete the Academic Training Authorization request form and follow the steps listed below. All application materials must be submitted to ISSS at least 2 weeks prior to the requested start date of your training program.

  1. Obtain a letter of offer from your prospective employer. It must include all of the information outlined in the “Sample: Employer Letter to Recommend J-1 Academic Training” (copy attached).
  2. Ask your academic program advisor from your home university to complete the “Advisor Recommendation for Academic Training” form (attached). Attach a copy of your employer’s letter to this form for their review. This form must be completed by an advisor in your home university who is familiar with your program of study, and not an advisor at UM-St. Louis.
  3. After obtaining the two letters, submit the following items to ISSS:
  1. request for Academic Training authorization;
  2. academic advisor’s recommendation (on the attached form);
  3. letter of offer from the prospective employer;
  4. copy of your DS-2019 (1st page only);
  5. copy of current insurance card or valid proof of insurance;
  6. copy of your passport (photo page and visa page);
  7. copy of your I-94 card (front and back);
  8. social security letter request (only if you will need to apply for a social security number)
  9. proof of financial support (if applying for unpaid post-completion authorization).

Request an extension of your DS-2019.

Complete this step only if your DS-2019 will expire during the requested period of time of your authorized Academic Training and you are not yet finished with your academic program.